Ninety-eight per cent of all apartments are supplied by pipe systems with radiators as heaters. One pipe trunk can supply several apartments with heating and one apartment can be supplied by several pipe trunks. The rent for apartments in Sweden includes heating. No shared incentive exists, but the property owner can take appropriate measures to reduce energy use. This may, for instance, involve supplementary insulation in the attic, insulation of the facade, change of windows, introduction of heat recovery and trimming of the heating system. Such measures do not only improve the building itself but also increase indoor comfort for the tenants.
From a European perspective Sweden has a cold climate with well-insulated climate shells that envelope buildings but no insulation between apartments. Swedish municipal public housing companies try to maintain the same temperature in all apartments in their property stock to minimise energy use. The residents themselves cannot adjust the temperature, which is controlled centrally in the building. There is normally a guaranteed temperature of 20 to 21°C in apartments. The inclusion of heating in rents means that there is no energy poverty in Swedish apartments. As a consequence of these circumstances, we have concluded in Sweden that it is not cost effective to install individual metering and billing for heating, but that this would increase energy use instead and have a considerable negative impact on energy efficiency improvements among Public Housing Sweden’s member companies. We explain this further in the following reports.